Who is the best non-auto-tune singer in terms of commercial success today?

(please read all the rules before answering)

I am looking for a singer who fits all these rules:

1) Had the greatest commercial success (monetary income) related to music in calendar year 2019. Side-gigs can not be counted. If an artist has a clothing line or makeup named after him/her, then income from that does not count. If an artist is a paid actor in movies or television, then that income does not count. Generally, which artist made the most from music sales, tours (partially to promote music sales) and other income in 2019 directly related to SINGING????

2) Is definitely active for all of 2019 and 2020 (so far), and only records and performs songs in the English language.

3) Released at least one full-length album (more than 7 tracks) in the past 12 months

4) Is a solo artist, or performs the lead/main vocals for his/her band, on studio recordings

5) And...according to the best evidence available, this artist has NEVER used "auto-tune" in a studio recording. Not even to clean up a piece of ONE track.

I will allow artists who lip-sync live performances, or even auto-tune live performances. But to qualify as the most successful non-auto-tune artist for this question, the artist has to NOT use auto-tune (ever) in the studio recordings.

OK, who is it?


If I had to guess, I would say maybe Bruno Mars or Avril Lavigne.  But then, I ran across references hinting that they use auto-tune, also.  I also read that 99% of producers use it at all recording sessions.  So it might be impossible to find a popular artist now who is not auto-tuned at the studio.

5 Answers

  • 10 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    I find the attitude against autotune to be needlessly puritanical. Why, if autotune is 'fake', do people ONLY take issue with this? Why don't they take issue with quantising? It's essentially the same thing but for rhythm - processing the sound to more closely fit a defined parameter. Why not take issue with EQ, or multitracking? Hell, why not just insist everything is done in 1 take like it was in the earliest days of recording?

    You can't put the genie back in the bottle - autotune will ALWAYS be used by professional producers simply because it is a massive time saver. What are you going to do, re-record the entire line because one note was 18 cents flat, or just say to the computer 'play this note 18 cents sharper' - especially as every single minute wasted costs a LOT of money. Music simply doesn't make enough money to do that sort of thing, we do not have the luxury of booking studios for weeks and doing hundreds of takes. Even classical musicians - people who may have spent literally their entire lives since the age of 4 or 5 into the service of this craft - use autotune.

  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    Do you want a god dam research paper on this? I mean of course you do.

  • 10 months ago

    Probably Billie Eilish, Beck, Norah Jones, or Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant. Others in the running who are problaby not as commercially successful: Maggie Rogers, Sam Fender, King Princess, Melanie Martinez, Bishop Briggs, City and Colour, Jade Bird

  • 10 months ago

    Look up Ray Stevens (Harold Ray Ragsdale).

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  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    Amy Winehouse.


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